Solar Panel Installation

So you are thinking of installing solar panels? Well below gives you a brief guide as to how they work and what you need to know.

Solar Photovoltaics (PV) captures and traps the sun’s energy (known as Direct current or DC) using photovoltaic cells. Cells are made from multiple layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. Light shining on the cell generates an electric potential across the silicon layers, which allows a current to flow, producing electricity. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced.

Cells don’t just need direct sunlight to work, they can still produce optimum amounts of electricity on cloudy day’s.

Electricity produced by solar panels is converted into electricity that can be used within a building. An inverter, which converts the DC electricity generated by the panels in to AC (Alternating Current), which is what your domestic appliances use. During daylight hours the energy from the solar panels can be used to supply your building appliances, replacing electricity you would otherwise purchase from your supplier.

Under the Smart Energy Guarantee scheme you are paid for the electricity you don’t use that is exported back to the national grid.. The current rate is approximately 5 pence per kWh.

To get the most out of the electricity that your panels produce it’s best to use appliances like dishwashers and washing machines during the day. To take advantage of the free electricity generated combine with Battery Storage or an Electric Vehicle Charger .

How Do Solar Panels Work

Daylight causes an electric field across layers of silicon in the cells, creating an electric current. Within seconds of reaching the earth’s surface photons from the sun energise electrons in the silicon which can then power devices in homes across the country.

Domestic Solar panel installations are connected to the national grid so that any extra electricity that hasn’t been used in the home created by a Solar power can be used by other homes. A fee is paid by the electricity company for every kWh exported to the grid.

Your home will also be fitted with a monitoring device to keep track of the total amount of electricity generated by your PV panel Solar system.

Solar panels do not need direct sunlight to function and even on a cloudy day will generate electricity. And so as the daylight hours pass, your earnings will increase. 


Types of Panels


The oldest and most developed of the three technologies. Monocrystalline panels as the name suggests are created from a single continuous crystal structure. A Monocrystalline panel can be identified from the solar cells which all appear as a single flat color.


Made from similar silicon material to mono panels, instead of going through the slow and more expensive process of creating a single crystal, molten silicon is just put into a cast and cooled with a seed crystal. These are the most common panels used today.

Thin Film

Thin film panels are a totally different technology to mono and polycrystalline panels. They are a new technology compared to mono and polycrystalline cells and would not be considered a mature technology as vast improvements in this technology are expected in the next 10 years.


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